Prime News

  • Prime Inc. Contractors of the Month (January 2014)

    January 2014 Awardees Include:

    Johannas A. Gibson

    Refrigerated Division

    Rolyn D. Barksdale, Sr.

    Flatbed Division

    Donald R. Royal

    Tanker Division

    Robert Schumacher

    Company Tanker Division

    Paul Tiltscher

    Company Refrigerated Division

    Michael Shilling

    Company Flatbed Division

    Clifford Wilkinson & Kevin Hill 

    Refrigerated Team Division

  • Prime Inc. Contractors of the Month (December 2013)

    December 2013 Awardees Include:

    Bonny Jean Fisher

    Refrigerated Division

    Remick E. Tolbert

    Flatbed Division

    Tracy J.   Vierhout

    Tanker Division

    Douglas Adams

    Company Tanker Division

    Eugene Mark Ton

    Company Refrigerated Division

    Richard Barber

    Company Flatbed Division

    Ezekiel Bibby & Aziz Ibrahim

    Refrigerated Team Division

  • Prime Inc. Recognizes Millionaire Members

    Gold Millionaires

    Two Million Miler

    • Janine S Hackman

    One Million Milers

    • Phillip D. Prince
    • Stacey S. Woodward

    Click here to read more about Prime's Driver Awards.

  • Prime Inc. Contractors of the Month (November 2013)

    November 2013 Awardees Include:

    Letitia U. Clayborne

    Refrigerated Division

    Robert F. Saling

    Flatbed Division

    Guillermo Girona

    Tanker Division

    Nicholas Q. Kenney

    Company Tanker Division

    Kevin O. Boyd

    Company Refrigerated Division

    Richard Banul

    Company Flatbed Division

    Barbara Van Zant & Iris L. Lane

    Refrigerated Team Division

  • Truck Driver Training Goes Cutting Edge at Prime Inc.

    Prime inc. goes above and beyond the traditional methods of truck driver training to ensure associates get the best and most modern instruction possible for success on the road. Prime uses computer-based training methods and driving simulators for all new truck drivers, whether they’re signing up for the Prime Student Driver Program or transferring from another carrier.  A great deal of time and thought has gone into the truck driver training program, and it is evident in the quality of the associates working for Prime today.

    Leigh Anne Pettit Sunset over Training Pad 300x225 Truck Driver Training Goes Cutting Edge at Prime Inc

    Photo by: Leigh Anne Pettit

    New truck drivers begin their careers with Prime by attending a 3 or 4 daylong orientation. The classes are a combination of hands-on training and class work; the classroom portions are computer-based, and students work at their own pace. This keeps the material fresh, and periodic knowledge checks ensure that new associates understand the material. Feedback is instantaneous. Unlike other orientation and training programs designed to just “check the box” for new drivers, Prime is invested in truck driver training. Prime takes great care in making sure new associates have all of the materials, knowledge and skills they need to be successful.

    In addition to computer-based classroom training, all new truck drivers get seat time in one of four state-of-the-art driving simulators. Even if they’ve never sat in a tractor-trailer before, the simulators let drivers experience driving, shifting, control, and backing in a safe environment before they ever head out to the training pad. Experienced drivers new to Prime also get to sit at a simulator as a part of their truck driver training and orientation. It evaluates their skills coming in and shows where additional or focused training may be needed to enhance their truck driving skills.

    Truck Driver Training 300x210 Truck Driver Training Goes Cutting Edge at Prime Inc
    The simulators can present a variety of driving conditions to a truck driver. They can simulate the effects of snow, ice, glare, and night driving. They can also simulate any type of surface, from a two-lane mountain road to a prairie interstate. When combined, these two sets of conditions can provide opportunities for truck driver training that can’t be found anywhere else. Because even seasoned drivers might never have driven in all conditions, the simulator lets them experience those conditions before they have to deal with them for the first time while on the road.

    Prime’s goal is to provide the best training available for all associates and allow them to be successful in their careers which is why so much has been invested in the training programs. Computerized training systems and driving simulators are expensive to buy and maintain, but it is money well spent. By giving drivers the knowledge and skills they need in a safe and interactive truck driver training facility, they head out better prepared to face any challenges they may encounter. Traditional training, merged with cutting-edge technology, provides a world-class training experience for new truck drivers at Prime.

  • Listen in on our November 2013 SAFETY MEETING online!

    Listen in on our November 2013 SAFETY MEETING online!

    Listen in iTunes
    Prime FeedBurner Safety Podcast
    Prime BuzzSprout Safety Podcast

    In this release: What's Important, Health and Wellness, Prime Smart Phone Program, HAZMAT, Technology Update, Winter Driving, Deer Hits and Accidents.

  • Prime Inc. Recognizes Millionaire Members

    Gold Millionaires

    Two Million Milers

    • Rudy E. Coronado
    • Baron G. Mosley

    One Million Milers

    • Micheal McGonigal
    • Gary V. Plummer
    • Jo Lynn Vine
    • Johnnie Becton
    • George Cummins
    • Matthew Foley
    • Terry J. Johnson, Sr.
    • Iris L. Lane
    • Danny K. Mead
    • Michael M. Sparks

    Click here to read more about Prime's Driver Awards.

  • Prime Inc. Supports Wreaths Across America

    Wreaths across america 300x199 Prime Inc. Supports Wreaths Across America Every year, since 1992, ­Wreaths Across America has strived to expand the annual tradition of laying wreaths on fallen veterans’ gravestones. Once, the only place wreath-laying took place was Arlington National Cemetery, but today, volunteers gather at more than 800 participating locations throughout the 50 states to simultaneously perform this symbolic ritual on the second Saturday in December. This year, the event will take place at noon EST on Dec. 14.

    Wreaths Across America 2012 299 300x200 Prime Inc. Supports Wreaths Across America

    Prime Inc. has proudly supported ­Wreaths Across America for several years now by contributing money, time, qualified drivers, and equipment to deliver wreaths to veterans’ cemeteries across the country.  Prime has always been a strong supporter of our veterans and troops currently serving. This year, they will add 100 new trailers with the slogan “Support Our Troops-We Will Never Forget” and the Wreaths Across America logo to their existing fleet bringing the total of these patriotic trailers to 151.

    Wreaths Across America 2012 185 300x200 Prime Inc. Supports Wreaths Across AmericaIt’s only with the help of generous trucking companies, volunteers, and active organizations that Wreaths Across America can take place. The goal of this special day is to remember, honor, and teach about the service and sacrifices American veterans have made for our country over the years. It’s particularly important to teach younger generations about the freedoms Americans enjoy today that came at such a great cost.

    The symbolism of a beautiful wreath adorning every gravestone is often emotionally overwhelming for family members of fallen veterans. As the late philanthropist Pierre Claeyssens once said so eloquently, “To be killed in war is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst that can happen… to be forgotten is the worst.” That’s why ­Wreaths Across America exists: to honor and remember fallen soldiers, recognize the sacrifices of surviving family members, and make sure our children know how they came to enjoy the freedoms they have today.

    There is no cost to attend a ­Wreaths Across America event, but anyone who feels passionate about this tradition is encouraged to donate or become a volunteer to ensure this powerful ceremony is carried on for years to come.

  • Prime Inc. Contractors of the Month (October 2013)

    October 2013 Awardees Include:

    Sidney R. Putnam

    Refrigerated Division

    Kevin P. Doyle

    Flatbed Division

    Robert W. T. Jones

    Tanker Division

    David J. Shannon

    Company Tanker Division

    Jose M. Garcia

    Company Refrigerated Division

    Richard A. Dyer

    Company Flatbed Division

    Glen E. & Karla J. Horack

    Refrigerated Team Division

  • Prime Inc. | Truck Driving for All

    Here at Prime Inc., we’re pleased to have such a variety of talented, hardworking drivers on our team. The men and women who drive for us have different backgrounds and future ambitions, but there’s one thing they each have in common: a passion for truck driving and hauling the goods that America needs.

    One of the most popular ways to join our team is through the Prime Student Driver Program. This option gets you on the fast track to becoming a professional commercial truck driver. Thousands of ambitious new drivers have completed the program and joined our team. Here’s a closer look at three drivers who completed orientation together and joined Prime in February 2013.

    Jonathan Alo, Prime Inc. Truck Driver

    Jonathan Alo 300x200 Prime Inc. | Truck Driving for AllBefore becoming a truck driver, Jon was a firefighter/EMT. He decided to leave his job after five years and pursue a career in truck driving. He still spends some of his free time as a volunteer firefighter, but he loves the opportunity to get paid “touring” the lower 48 states as a professional truck driver. In less than a year, Jon has already become a trainer, so he can pass on the skills and knowledge he has acquired at Prime.

    When asked to narrow down what he likes best about Prime Inc., Jon said: “Everything. I love this company, and everything it stands for! Prime is one big family here. Great friends, great people!”

    John Shelby, Prime Inc. Truck Driver

    John Shelby 300x200 Prime Inc. | Truck Driving for AllJohn was a DirecTV installer/service technician before he started his truck driving career with Prime. When he was ready for a career change, he realized Prime Inc. was right for him because he had enjoyed local delivery jobs in the past and was ready to take those skills to the next level.

    When asked why he enjoys working for Prime, John answered: “They treat everyone like family, and they care. When going through the Prime Student Driver Program, my favorite part was the fact that Prime makes sure each student is trained to the best of their ability before going out on their own.”

    Bradley Esco, Prime Inc. Truck Driver

    Bradley Esco 300x200 Prime Inc. | Truck Driving for AllBrad’s pre-trucking career involved operating machinery at a factory that made baked goods. He wanted to change his career when he realized he could earn more money as a truck driver. All it took was a quick Google search and an online application to the Prime Student Driver Program – the rest, as they say, is history.

    When asked how he feels about Prime Inc., Brad stated: “Prime is made up of great people, and they really love their drivers. My favorite part of the Prime Student Driver Program was the hands-on training instead of sitting in a classroom.”

    Despite their different backgrounds, each of these drivers came together and started a lifetime career they truly love.

  • Listen in on our October 2013 SAFETY MEETING online!

    Listen in on our October 2013 SAFETY MEETING online!

    Listen in iTunes
    Prime FeedBurner Safety Podcast
    Prime BuzzSprout Safety Podcast

    In this release: Safety and Chains, Deer Guard, Draining Air Tanks, Driver of the Year, Rollovers, Fuel and Season Lottery, Health Coverage, How Teams Drop Weight, Maintenance Tires, Oil changes, New 2 Million Miler, Tickets, Robert on Holiday Lottery.


  • Prime Inc. Contractors of the Month (September 2013)

    September 2013 Awardees Include:

    Thomas L. Nickols

    Refrigerated Division

    Curtis Lee Gibbs

    Flatbed Division

    Glenn E. Ford

    Tanker Division

    James W. Banks

    Company Tanker Division

    Micheal S. Hawkins

    Company Refrigerated Division

    Logan W. Kunzler

    Company Flatbed Division

    Michael & Laura White 

    Refrigerated Team Division

  • Prime Inc. Recognizes Millionaire Members

    Gold Millionaires

    Two Million Milers

    • Thomas E. Evans
    • James A. Martin

    One Million Milers

    • Carleton E. Buck
    • Omar D. Page
    • Derrick L. Tolbert
  • Prime Inc. Garners U.S. EPA 2013 Smartway Excellence Award

    SmartWayOctober 22, 2013 (Springfield, Missouri.) – Prime Inc. has again been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a prestigious 2013 SmartWay Excellence Award given to organizations that achieve or exceed the fuel reduction and environmental performance goals they are working toward with the help of the SmartWay Transport Partnership.

    “We are very proud to have earned this award,” said Nick Forte, Fleet Maintenance Administrator. “Prime is committed to actively pursuing ways to reduce our carbon footprint, while delivering safe and on-time freight. This recognition tells us we’re succeeding.”

    The SmartWay Excellence Award recognition took place on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at the annual conference of The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) in Denver, Colo. The SmartWay Excellence Awards, reserved for the top one percent of SmartWay Partners, are the EPA’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in freight supply chain goods movement. The EPA based its selection on information received from partners’ annual assessment tool submissions.

    Awardees were chosen based on their ability to demonstrate top environmental performance by adopting fuel-saving technologies and strategies to save fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.  The data  collected helps carriers optimize energy and environmental efficiency as well as supply chain carbon emissions performance within their operations.

    “Protecting the environment for our children and grandchildren is a priority at Prime along with being good stewards of our limited natural resources,” said Forte. “We’re proud to be a SmartWay Partner and to support the EPA’s initiatives.”

  • Prime Inc. Participates in World’s Largest Truck Convoy®

    October 3, 2013, (Springfield, Missouri) –   On September 27, Prime Inc. was a presenting sponsor for the World’s Largest Truck Convoy® for Special Olympics, which is a celebration of the trucking industry and its support of Special Olympics.  It was a unique one-day event where Prime inc. driving professionals and trucks had the opportunity to allow a Special Olympics athlete to ride along with them in the convoy. The convoy began at 4 State Trucks in Joplin, Mo., and ended in downtown Joplin with a festival featuring live music, food, and trucks on display.

    The event drew 234 trucks, 25 of which represented Prime Inc. and included 33 Prime driving associates. In the convoy were Special Olympian Mark Havin of St. Clair, Missouri who got to ride along in the convoy with Prime associate Jerome Lobo of Springfield, Missouri.  Mark Havin is the younger brother of Andrea Mueller from Prime’s Recruiting Department.  Special Olympian Ashley Dunlap from Nevada, Missouri, got to ride along with Prime’s Mike Rinehart of Sun City, California.

    Following the event, Prime driving associates expressed great pride and enjoyment in taking part in the convoy. “What a sight to see 25 bobtails heading west on I-44. Then in Joplin, 230+ trucks. Very proud to be part of the Prime family,” said Prime’s Brenda Wilson.

    Prime associate Christopher Cunningham said, “I am proud to work for a company that is helping everything they come in contact with. Thank you Prime Inc.”

    According to the Special Olympics web site, the event is a great way to generate support for Special Olympians while highlighting the importance of trucking in keeping our country’s goods moving.  The event brought in a total of over $50,000 in donations which will go to support the Special Olympic athletes and events in the state of Missouri.

  • Want a New Job? | Work for a Company that Appreciates You

    You have probably learned to take the good with the bad at work, but if you desperately want a new job, it is time to start exploring your options. Everyone deserves to work for a company that appreciates them. If you are tired of being compensated based on group norms, feeling under-appreciated, or bumping your head against the glass ceiling, then you want a new job at Prime Inc.

    When you think about working for a trucking company like Prime, you might not consider the wide variety of positions that need to be filled As much as a successful carrier relies on its drivers, drivers rely on the non-driving associates to keep things running smoothly behind-the-scenes so they can successfully deliver their loads across the country on a daily basis.

    If you want a new job, consider a behind-the-scenes, non-driving job at Prime. A handful of these types of positions include:

    • Operations Manager: In this position, your job is to primarily oversee and assist fleet managers and dispatchers to ensure that Prime Drivers are receiving the support they need while they are out on the road or in the terminal visiting their manager in person.
    • Driver Recruiter: It’s your job to find experienced drivers who want a new job to come drive for Prime as well as encourage those who would like to start a career in truck driving to join the Prime Student Driver program.
    • Staff Accountant: You are responsible for analyzing financial information and preparing financial reports as well as completing other various accounting tasks.

    Prime is known for offering outstanding opportunities to drivers and non-drivers alike. If you need a new job though, don’t just take our word for it. Consider what these associates have to say about working for Prime:
    • “I love working for Prime… because I am rewarded for my individual effort and performance, not compensated based on a group norm.” –James Ely, Operations Manager
    • “I speak with people on a daily basis who work for other companies and feel that they are just a number. I love being part of a company that not only tells you that you are family but actually follows through and treats you like you are valuable.” –Lane Williams, Driver Recruiter
    • “I love working for Prime because I have fun every day that I come in to work.  It’s like working with a big family.” –Megan McMullin, Staff Accountant

    If you want a new job and you’re ready to make your move, please visit the Prime website today to learn more about jump-starting your new career in the trucking industry.

  • Listen in on our September 2013 SAFETY MEETING online!

    Listen in iTunes
    Prime FeedBurner Safety Podcast
    Prime BuzzSprout Safety Podcast

    In this release: Chain Information, CSA Numbers, Read Signage, Medical Card on File, Million Mile Club, Brakes, RPMs, Driver Testing and Referrals, GPS, Prime Mobile App, Prime Reward Points, Driver Fitness, Business is Ramping Up, Robert Low.


  • Prime Inc. Recognizes Millionaire Members

    Gold Millionaires

    Three Million Miler

    • Allan Raffay

    Two Million Milers

    • Emily D. Plummer
    • Eddie Lee Taylor, Jr.

    One Million Milers

    • Micheal McGonigal
    • Gary V. Plummer
    • Jo Lynn Vine

    Silver Millionaire

    • Paul E. Aszman, Sr

    Click here to read more about Prime's Driver Awards.

  • Prime Inc. Program Aims to Improve Health of Truckers

    Reposted from the Springfield News-Leader. Written by Thomas Gounley.  Photo by Dean Curtis/News-Leader.

    Siphiwe Baleka, Prime's driver fitness coach, finds ways to help truckers be active. / Dean Curtis/News-Leader

    As part of Prime Inc.’s efforts to improve driver health and wellness — not to mention attract employees — the company’s expansive headquarters on North Mayfair Avenue in Springfield have long contained a basketball court, fitness classes and gym stocked with the latest exercise equipment.

    The trouble, however — particularly in an industry with more overweight and obese individuals than the general population — is that most of the company’s drivers spend far more time on the road than they do at headquarters.

    Now, the company is trying to convince them to take the fitness mindset in the cab with them.

    “What you need is an element where you can reach them in the truck everyday,” said Siphiwe Baleka.

    Baleka is in his second year as Prime’s driver fitness coach — a newly created role that developed out of the former college athlete’s own effort to battle weight gain after becoming a driver. The company’s new Driver Health and Fitness Program, he said, is modeled less on the idea that drivers are just making bad choices for their health and more on the belief that the occupation naturally lends itself to health challenges — but that those negative effects can be mitigated.

    “It’s a biochemical, hormonal result of the occupation,” he said of drivers’ weight gain. “The industry didn’t understand that.”

    Baleka was burned out from another job and short on funds when he joined Prime as a driver in 2008, he said. He was used to fitness, having swam competitively in college. Still, he gained 15 pounds on his 140-pound frame in two months — and realized that trend could easily continue.

    “I got scared,” he said. “I did the math.”

    As he drove over the next several years, he said, he tried different diet and exercise regimes to see what meshed with his lifestyle. He started carrying a bicycle in his cab, then added a backpack with a wetsuit inside.

    His three-year lease of a truck expired in December 2011. In April 2012, he finished Ironman South Africa — a 2.4-mile swim and 112-mile bike ride followed by a marathon — in 11 hours and 59 minutes, good enough for fourth in his age group.

    The in-cab experimentation led to Baleka’s Fitness Trucking DVD series, which is sold in Prime’s on-site store.

    “I realized there’s a fitness program designed for everyone in America, except for long-haul truckers,” he said.

    At the same time as developing the series, he said, he approached Robert Low, president and founder of Prime, about a role on staff. He started in his current position in June 2012, he said, and the company’s Driver Health and Fitness Program began the next month.

    As of spring 2013, Prime was the 19th-largest employer in the Springfield metropolitan statistical area, which includes Greene, Christian, Webster, Polk and Dallas counties, according to the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce. The company had 852 local full-time equivalent employees, according to the chamber, and 3,500 company-wide.

    But the company’s impact is actually broader than than that. Many of Prime’s drivers are lease operators, or independent contractors. The company has approximately 6,200 drivers, according to Baleka.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69.2 percent of U.S. adults age 20 years and over are overweight, with 35.9 percent of them classified as obese. A 2007 study in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, meanwhile, found that 86 percent of truck drivers are classified as either overweight or obese.

    Most people blame the health of truck drivers on their personal decisions, Baleka said, citing common perceptions. They eat too much. They eat the wrong things. And they’re lazy.

    But those people are wrong, he said.

    “The reasons why drivers are overweight are not what you think,” he said.

    Drivers who voluntarily participate in the the company’s program, he said, wear an armband that tracks various factors and keep a food log that tracks calorie intake. That data, he says, shows that most drivers’ problem isn’t a calorie surplus — it’s a slow metabolism.

    Various aspects of the truck driver lifestyle — like irregular sleep schedules — naturally slow one’s metabolism, Baleka said. Truck driving in particular is a very stressful activity — you’re on deadline and driving in traffic — and each stress event releases cortisol.

    “It tells your body to store fat in the abdominal area,” he said.

    But Baleka says he can counteract that. If drivers increase their metabolic rate to a high intensity for just four minutes a day — primarily by performing body weight exercises in or near their truck — over the course of the 13 weeks, he said, their metabolism will increase permanently.

    Baleka’s program boils down to two things — four minutes of activity and a reduction of carbohydrate intake. He works with what most truckers already eat — for example, encouraging them to get a six-inch sub with double meat at Subway instead of buying a foot-long sub.

    “I’m not going to tell a driver you’ve got to bake salmon or grill asparagus in your truck, because that’s never going to happen,” he said.

    Since Prime’s Driver Health and Fitness Program began, he said, approximately 200 people have enrolled — many after a health scare.

    “The vast majority of drivers who come to me come to me because they’re afraid,” he said.

    Of those 200, Baleka said, 62 percent have completed the program, with an average weight loss of 20.3 pounds over the 13 weeks. Individuals in the first four classes of the program decreased their average BMI from 38.3 to 35.6. Individuals with BMIs over 25 are classified as overweight; those over 30 are classified as obese. Prime reimburses the $300 cost of the program for those who complete it.

    Lease Operator Letitia Clayborne lost 20 pounds in the program.

    “I thought it’d be hard, but it wasn’t,” she said.

    Rather than deprivation, the program encouraged frequent meals, she said.

    “You’d be like, ‘Man, I have to eat again,’” she said.

    Over the past year, Baleka said, about 30 drivers have bought folding bikes that they can take with them on the road. Twice a year — in May and September — the company holds a month-long challenge to see who can rack up the most miles; the May winner rode 538.99. Earlier this month, the company hosted a “Fittest of the Fleet” competition during its company picnic — an idea Baleka would like to see incorporated by other companies.

    While it can be difficult to determine the return on investment of health initiatives, Steve Wutke, Prime’s vice president of sales and marketing — who was shooting hoops at noon on Thursday — said the company just inherently knows it has made “a lot of progress.”

    “We’re all in on it.”


  • Prime Inc. Contractors of the Month (August 2013)

    August 2013 Awardees Include:

    Jerry Cochran

    Refrigerated Division

    Charles McKinney

    Flatbed Division

    Alexander Lambert

    Tanker Division

    Charles Carpenter

    Company Tanker Division

    Tim Mlack

    Company Refrigerated Division

    Thor C. Sheneman

    Company Flatbed Division

    Christine Stratton & Kari Rico 

    Refrigerated Team Division

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